From Our Pastor: 22nd Sunday In Ordinary Time
The readings this weekend are all about humility. So often we hear humble and think we just need to hide away and never use our talents or gifts. That isn't humility. True humility is to use the gifts and talents and strengths and weaknesses to their fullest extent for the greater glory of God. The use of our gifts and talents are not for our own aggrandizement, but for God's glory. Our gifts and talents are not our own, but gifts from the Lord, so therefore all praise goes to Him and not to us. These readings are rich in who we are called to be as followers of Christ and how we are called to live out following Christ.
Last weekend at the 4:30 Mass we had a major problem in that we ran out of communion. There is much to say about this incident, but first is, I am sorry this happened. Let's now delve into this a bit. First and foremost, to all of you, but most especially those who didn't receive, the obligation is to Mass, NOT to the reception of the Eucharist. Someone said to me about the incident, "All those poor people have to go to Mass again because they didn't receive." This is completely incorrect. You have fulfilled your obligation to Mass by attending; receiving communion is not required. In fact, we should only receive the Eucharist if we are in a state of grace and are prepared. If we are not in a state of grace, in fact, we should NOT receive communion until we rectify what is keeping us from being in a state of grace. This could be not having been to confession in the last year (we MUST go to confession at least once a year); this could be not being in a marriage recognized by the Church; this could be not giving to the needs of the Church (this is a precept/requirement); this could be having a mortal sin on your soul without yet getting to confession; this could be you were very distracted in Mass or angry or just ha d a fight or something that you yourself just don't feel ready at that moment, and many other reasons. We are only required by the precepts of the Church to receive communion once a year during the Easter Season, after that once-a-year confession to prepare ourselves. So, the obligation is to Mass, even if we are not able to receive communion for whatever reason, and we can always pray for a spiritual communion, until we can receive.
There is a difference between ordinary ministers of Holy Communion and extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion. Ordinary ministers are deacons, priests, and bishops. Extraordinary ministers are anyone else. If for some reason we have more deacons or priests visiting or the bishop is there, even if you are scheduled as an EMHC, the ordinary minister supersedes the schedule. So, we make sure there is the amount needed, usually six for Sundays, but that could be a little more or a little less depending on the situation. The ordinary ministers must be vigilant if we are running out and need to fracture the hosts to have enough to feed the people. But if the EMHCs see there is a chance we are going to run out, ask the ordinary ministers sooner than one or two hosts left. The hosts can be broken up into smaller pieces to make sure we all receive. We only need to receive a crumb of the consecrated host or a drop of the precious blood to receive all of Jesus (Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity). We call this concomitance.
Please remember most from this that we must be in a state of grace and ready in our heart and mind to receive Jesus, and even if we can't for whatever reason, we still need to be at Mass. In fact, in those moments we can't receive is when we NEED to be in Mass even more. We can pray for a spiritual communion, until we can receive, but again the obligation is to Mass. And even more than the obligation, we NEED the Mass for our hearts/bodies, and our souls.
-Rev. Steven Arisman